Numerous police agencies across the state of California have had it with distracted driving, and they seem intent on doing whatever they can to get drivers to understand the danger. So before you pick up your cellphone, you might want to read on to learn just how serious law enforcement officials are about cracking down on distraction behind the wheel.
Throughout the Sacramento area and nearby environs, the California Highway Patrol, South Lake Tahoe police, and three dozen additional agencies will be targeting distracted drivers and trying to spread awareness about the danger. The South Lake Tahoe PD, in particular, plans to conduct an enforcement campaign starting today and leading up until December 9. 2013 will see similar efforts put forth across the state so that drivers might finally get the message that the cellphone habit needs to be kicked.
In addition to enforcement, though, authorities also want to emphasize education in a bid to stop distracted driving before it starts. When entering a vehicle, phones should be either turned off or placed somewhere where the driver wouldn’t be tempted to reach for it. Some sort of message should be activated letting contacts know that you’re unavailable when they try to get ahold of you. And if you need to get ahold of someone but know that they’re driving, delay the call or the text until they’ve likely brought their vehicle to a halt.
Trial started this week in a case against the Capistrano Unified School District (“CUSD”) brought by the parents of a special needs child who, as a result of school district employee negligence, was strangled to death while riding a CUSD school bus home from preschool. Kevin Cisler was only three years old and was his parents only child at the time he was killed. The Cislers are represented in the case by Brian Panish and Tom Schultz of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP.
The trial focuses attention on a rare neuro-genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome, which Kevin Cisler had been diagnosed with as an baby. Angelman Syndrome causes intellectual and developmental disabilities, including speech impairment and movement or balance problems. Children with the condition also frequently laugh or smile and exhibit a happy demeanor.
Because of his disability, Kevin needed to be secured in a wheelchair while being transported by the CUSD to and from pre-school. Despite Kevin’s mother being assured that only qualified drivers would be transporting Kevin, on the day he died, Kevin was not properly secured into his wheelchair, slipped in his seat and was slowly strangled during the almost one hour bus ride from school. Kevin Cisler’s death clearly could have been prevented. The bus driver – who had minimal experience transporting special needs children – did not notice Kevin’s distress despite the fact that only one other child was on the bus at the time.
Although the CUSD has admitted to being responsible for Kevin Cisler’s death, shockingly, it is attempting to use Kevin’s Angelman Syndrome to argue that the loss suffered by his parents is somehow less devastating than the loss suffered by parents who lose a child without special needs. The CUSD is suggesting that the cost of caring for Kevin should be considered by the jury when it determines what to award the Cislers for the loss of their beloved son.
For more information about Angelman Syndrome or to donate to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation, please go to http://www.angelman.org/.
Bliss Unlimited is rolling out a recall for Coconut Bliss Chocolate Peanut Butter Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert under the Luna and Larry’s brand. The recall is for any instance of the food containing a code date between November 11 of this year and October 24 of next year. The recall was necessitated because of a health risk stemming from a possible Salmonella contamination. The contaminant can cause serious harm to anyone who consumes it.
Click here to learn more about the recall.
Laws requiring the use of child safety seats are widespread, but New Zealand has one of the weakest in the world. The country previously only required kids up to the age of five to utilize some kind of safety seat. That’s likely why the residents of the Western Bay of Plenty are supporting a change to the law there that will raise the upper end of the age requirement to seven years old. The Associate Minister of Transport announced the law change.
Click here for more about the new law.
In Porterville, traffic enforcers within the police department have noted an increase in automobile accidents. The rise has been attributed to drivers distracting themselves with their cellphones. In response, the department recently conducted an enforcement operation focused on these distracted drivers specifically. On one particular strip of road, almost 30 tickets were issued in just a two hour period. The police encourage drivers to ignore their phone while on the road.
Click here for more about the effort.
After living through every parent’s worst nightmare, one Kentucky mom decided to use her son’s untimely death due to distracted driving as a way to teach others to be more careful. Her son crashed his car around the same time he received an inane text simply asking, “what’s up?” Since the young man loved restoring old cars, the grieving mother hosted an auto show to raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving.
Click here to learn more about this awareness effort.
Due to a carbon monoxide hazard posed, Kubota has recalled 970 of its RTV500 vehicles. This model number can be found on the door. Carbon monoxide levels can build up in the off-road utility vehicle’s cab while the vehicle is idling. So far two people have reported having a headache due to this issue. If you purchased one of these vehicles between September 2008 and this past April, you should contact your local dealer for free repairs.
Click here to learn more about the recall.
The San Francisco-based Fitness Anywhere has issued a recall on their TRX Suspension Trainer devices due to a fall hazard posed by older models. Buckles used to alter strap length are in danger of breaking and thus leading a user to sustain a fall and an injury. There have been 570 reports of a breakage occurring, 82 of which involved a fall. 13 people have reportedly been injured. Owners of the 40,000 or so affected units are being advised to contact the company to get a replacement item.
Click here for more about the recall.
Students at Harrison Central High School in Mississippi were recently able to take part in an educational campaign offered by AT & T wherein they were taught about the dangers of texting and driving. Part of the program involved a meeting with the parents of former students who were killed in an accident due to distracted driving six years prior. The teens were offered the chance to sign a pledge promising not to text and drive.
Click here to learn more about the effort.
The city of Kalispell is considering banning the use of cellphones behind the wheel. Their efforts would follow several US cities that have banned this practice, as well as a number of nearby areas in Montana. Driving while using cellphones is very dangerous and distracted driving can and does cause accidents. However, these types of bans can be hard to enforce, especially texting bans. That’s one reason why a more wide-ranging (and easier to enforce) cellphone ban might be adopted in the city.
Follow this link for more about the effort.